Elephant Orphanage


  • Location: Colombo-Kandy Road, 90km from Colombo, Pinnawala, Sri Lanka
  • Reason to visit: Visitors are free to feed the elephants and can get up close and personal with them.
  • Our ratings: ★★★★★
  • Entrance fee:  3000Rs/Adult, 1000Rs/Child 
  • Opening Hours: 08:30-17:30 (Jan01-Dec31, from Monday-Friday)


The Elephant Orphanage was built in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Service to house young elephants who have become homeless, fallen into pits or traps, or escaped from herds, especially those with serious injuries or diseases. Since the establishment of the orphanage, the range of objects selected for the orphanage has been expanding, and those who fall into the trap and seriously injured, stray from the group, injured in the war or sick baby elephants are eligible to live in the orphanage. The elephants living here will be taken good care of. In order to reduce the financial burden on the government, the Elephant Orphanage opens to tourists regularly.

Elephant Orphanage

In the orphanage, visitors are free to feed the elephants and can get up close and personal with them. Now the elephant orphanage has become a must-see for tourists. The most famous and symbolic attraction is the groups of elephants rushing to the river and take a bath.

In addition, a paper company called Maximus became popular. The company uses the "local materials" - turning elephant dung into valuable waste and processing it into the elegant paper. Paper products made from elephant dung have been exported to Japan, Europe and the United States, and even some world-famous politicians have used these products. Visitors can also buy some beautiful notebooks made of elephant dung paper as mementos or gifts for their friends.

Elephant Orphanage


Tips for visiting the Elephant Orphanage

♦ You can buy milk to feed the elephants while watching the elephants take a bath, you can get close and just pay a tip, but the baby elephants are not allowed to feed the bananas

  • Bath time: 10:00am-12:00pm    14:00pm-16:00pm
  • Feed milk: 09:15am-09:45am
  • Feed fruit: 09:00am-09:45am   12:00pm – 13:45pm

♦ The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is the only listed elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka. Some taxi drivers will tell you which elephant orphanage can ride elephants for free because of kickbacks. Don't be cheated.

♦ The recommended tour for you: 7 Days Classic Sri Lanka Tour

Elephant Orphanage


How to get to the Elephant Orphanage

Private car

The Elephant Orphanage is located between Colombo and Kandy, but there is no direct bus service to the elephant orphanage from both places. The round way private car service from Colombo to the Elephant Orphanage is about Rs9000, which takes about 3.5 hours.

Public bus

Take the coach from Kandy to Kegalle, get off at Karandupana; take the No. 881 bus to Rambukkana, and get off at Pinnawela. The Elephant Orphanage is located about 3 kilometers from the south of Pinnawela station.


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